Exxon Mobil Corp will retire while still at the top

Exxon Mobil Corp. chief executive Lee Raymond will retire at the end of 2005, ending a 12-year reign in which he built a Standard Oil Trust successor into the world's largest publicly traded company. President Rex Tillerson, 53, probably will succeed the 66-year-old Raymond as chairman and chief executive, Irving, Texas- based Exxon Mobil said yesterday in a statement.

At the board's request, Raymond became the first chief since 1933 to work past the company's mandatory retirement age of 65. Exxon Mobil's cash balance more than tripled in the past two years to $30 billion, the Boston Globe report.

Raymond led Exxon Corp.'s 1999 purchase of Mobil Corp. for $85.2 billion, the biggest oil acquisition in history. Exxon Mobil last week posted the highest second-quarter profit in its 123-year existence and had the most revenue on record for any public company.

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